My "First Look at Orcas" Presentation

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Europe was getting the chance to publicly show off some of the new features in our next release of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework (codename: "Orcas") for the first time publicly. 

You can download the deck I presented here.  You can also watch a version of the Belgium talk that Tom posted on the web here (note: another version taken from my WebDD talk in the UK will also be posted shortly).

"Orcas" is going to be a pretty exciting release, and contains a ton of great functionality that I think you will really love.  I'll be drilling down into more details of it over the next few months in many more blog posts.  Below are a few screen-shots from demos I showed over the weekend in my talks in Europe.  Note that they are just a few of the features - there are a lot more features I have yet to talk about. :-)


Visual Studio "Orcas" will be the first version of Visual Studio that enables developers to target multiple versions of the .NET Framework.  This means that you can open or create a project that explicitly targets either the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 releases, and Visual Studio will automatically filter intellisense, toolbox controls, and add reference dialog items (among other things) to only show those features supported within that specific version of the framework.  You can then compile against each of these different framework releases, as well as get full debugging support for each. 

The big benefit of Multi-Targeting is that you can now use most of the new features (for example: all the WYSWIYG designer and JavaScript editing ones) in Visual Studio "Orcas" immediately - even if you are still working on or updating an older project. 

Below is an example that shows how to create a project that explicitly targets .NET Framework 2.0 (allowing you to create a web project in "Orcas" that will run on the current ASP.NET 2.0 release):

You can then adjust the version target to .NET Framework 3.5 (which is the "Orcas" release of the framework libraries and includes LINQ support), and you can see that several new project types are available (including WPF projects):

Assembly references, intellisense, and debugging within a project will automatically adjust based on the version of the framework you are targeting.


As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, Visual Studio "Orcas" will ship a radically improved HTML and ASP.NET page designer.  Among other things, this WYSIWYG designer provides:

  • Split View Support (the ability to have both HTML Source and WYSIWYG design open simultaneously)
  • Extremely rich CSS support (CSS property window, CSS inheritance viewer, CSS preview, and CSS manager)
  • Dramatically improved view switching performance (moving from source->html design mode is now nearly instantaneous)
  • Support for control designers within source view (property builders, event wire-up and wizards now work in source view)
  • Richer ruler and layout support (better yet, values can be automatically stored in external CSS files)
  • Designer support for nested master pages

Below is a screen-shot of an ASP.NET page in split-view mode editing mode (enabling you to work in both source and design mode simultaneously):

Visual Studio "Orcas" also now has radically improved CSS support.  The new "Manage Styles" property window allows you to easily create, manage, and refactor CSS rules within style-sheets. 

For example: you can see a list of all stylesheet rules within the c4f.css stylesheet below.  Those with circles around them mean that the rule is being used within the current page (you can then right-click to see how many places it is being used and to highlight those elements that are using it in the WYWSIYG designer).  You can drag/drop the rules to re-arrange their order within the stylesheet, refactor them across files, and to select an HTML element in the WYSIWYG designer to apply the CSS rule.

When you select an HTML element in the WYSIWYG designer, you can also now use the CSS Properties window to see all CSS rules and their corresponding settings.  One really nice thing about this feature is that it shows you the cascading settings inherited from the various CSS rules. 

For example: you can see below that the various rules I have set for a particular element set the color property 4 times (these are in turn overridden by lower rules in the CSS chain).  You can click on any rule in the property-pane, or on any of the overridden values to identify exactly where each setting is coming from.  This makes it much, much easier to figure out why a page or element looks a particular way when using CSS:

When changing CSS style values like color, the color-pickers also now have nice features such as showing you other colors already in use in the stylesheet or document:

The WYSIWYG designer now supports the ability to define and use "nested master pages" for ASP.NET.  For example, you can now define a root "Site.Master" file for the entire site:

You can then obviously create new .aspx pages that uses this (like in VS 2005),  Or you can now also create a new master page that derives from it, and adds its own content and other contentplaceholder controls within the contentplaceholder defined in the root site.master file.  This is super useful when you want to have multiple types of layout used across a site.  For example, you might want to introduce a Two Column content layout master file like below, which inherits and extends the root Site.Master file:

You can then create new pages that derive from this Two Column master page and fill-in content within the two contentplaceholders exposed by it:

The beauty is that any change made to the root master will now be picked up by all pages on the site - regardless of which master page they are based on (as long as that master is based on the root master).  This enables much richer and more flexible organization of layout structure within your site.

ASP.NET AJAX and JavaScript

ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 shipped two weeks ago - with "Orcas" we are taking it even further (and obviously including all of the ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 functionality built-in).   Included as part of this will be significantly improved AJAX and JavaScript tool support within Visual Studio -- including JavaScript intellisense and much richer debugging support.

Below is a screen-shot showing intellisense method summary information automatically being generated on the fly against standard inline JavaScript (any JavaScript code will work):

The JavaScript intellisense supports rich type inferencing - for example, notice how it has automatically inferred from the method below that the return argument is a string (and so can provide intellisense for a string on it later):

The JavaScript intellisense engine within VS will have rich support for all the standard ASP.NET AJAX library concepts (classes, properties, enums, etc).  In addition to providing intellisense support against any regular JavaScript code, VS will also allow you to now add optional comment summary information to provide additional hints for Intellisense:

When debugging AJAX and JavaScript, you can now set client-JavaScript breakpoints within your server-code - VS can now automatically then wire these up on the client-side (these breakpoints will also optionally be persisted when you close a project/solution).  When debugging you also now have full watch window, intermediate window and more support.  The solution explorer in VS also now automatically lists running JavaScript document files - allowing you to easily set breakpoints in any script resource.

Significantly Improved Data Support

As I have blogged about in the past, "Orcas" will include support for LINQ - which makes data access with .NET radically better by making the concept of querying a first class programming concept.  VS Orcas includes an object relational mapper that enables you to create data models for relational data:

You can then write rich LINQ queries in VB and C# to retrieve data, data bind it, and update it.  Full intellisense is now supported inside VS for all LINQ queries and resulting value:

To start to see some of the power of LINQ, please watch my video here,  In addition to allowing you to write code using LINQ, we'll also obviously have full data-binding support in ASP.NET, and enable you to easily hook up any ASP.NET UI control to LINQ entities (allowing you to support paging, sorting, editing, deleting, and insertion without having to write any code).  We'll also have some new ASP.NET data controls (including a sweet new CSS based  ListView control) that will help make building data driven UI even easier. 


Orcas is going to be a fun release.  The screen-shots above hopefully wet your appetite about what is coming.  All of the features I showed above, and in the LINQ video, will ship within the February CTP of "Orcas" that will be available for public download in a few weeks.  We are then looking to ship a first Beta later this spring.  I'll be doing many more posts over the next few months that talk about some of the new features in much more detail. 

Hope this helps,



  • If don't cut any of the above features then that is going to be a great release. When are you going to release the final version?

  • Nice summary! I really enjoyed your presentations in Belgium... Can't wait for the February CTP :)

  • An extremely power packed post...thanks for the info/screenshots, can't wait for the next CTP!

  • Very cool....

  • The new Site.Master is a godsend; a millions thanks to the team Scott. ;-)

  • When can we download the this CTP ?

  • Great post...
    What about ADO.Net Entity Framework ?

  • I've been waiting a long time for this :-) looks very good.

  • It's the first time I "oficially" see teh version .NET3.5. Could you tell more about this? What will be updated/included apart from LINQ?

  • Scott, when is the release day for this product?

  • the "go ahead" filler which you use twice in every sentence is ridiculously annoying...

  • Will the February CTP come in one large image or will it be split into 8 700MB parts again?

  • Pawel/Albert - we haven't announced a final release date yet, although we are targetting the second half of this year.

    We'll have our first broad beta release later this spring.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hi Konstantin,

    .NET 3.5 will have a number of new framework library features - including LINQ, new ASP.NET features and controls, built-in ASP.NET AJAX support, new WPF enhancements, and other assorted goodies.

    Hope this helps,


  • It looks fantastic. Can't wait for the release.

  • Hi Todd,

    I'm not 100% sure what the download format for the Feb CTP will look like. I do know, though, that we'll have both a VPC version of it as well as a standalone setup that you can install on an existing OS (or within your own VM image).

    Hope this helps,


  • Perhaps slightly off topic of both this post and, to a degree, this blog - but: there have been a lot of interesting developments in dynamic database development recently, including projects like LINQ and a number of generated DALs (such as SubSonic). These typically favor ease-of-development over the traditional arguments for sprocs (security and performance, most notably). Even the popular sproc based .netTiers project uses dynamic SQL for searching records (admittedly a challenge hard to avoid).

    My firm (and many of our clients) remain in the old guard in favor of sprocs, which adds a certain level of complexity and expense to projects. We have a decade of internal libraries that support dynamic SQL, but we keep them exclusive to locked down intranet sites and admin tools.

    Where do you see the industry going? What about Microsoft? On one hand, MSPP still promotes use of sprocs; on the other hand, Visual Studio offers more and more shortcuts promoting inline/dynamic SQL. Is the latter simply catering to popular/everyday needs? Or have improvements in windows security and SQL performance tipped the scales in favor of more reusable code?

  • Hi Pravarakhya,

    What with MSDN are you specifically having problems with?

    As I said in my post above, the screen-shots I showed are by no means a complete list of things being done. They are simply ones I showed in my demos at the talk.



  • Hi Steve,

    Things like the Enterprise Library will be updated to support LINQ in the future. What is really nice about LINQ is that it isn't a specific data implementation - instead it can work against any type of datasource or any in-memory collection of .NET objects.

    This makes it super flexible to use.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hi Tyrven,

    The Sprocs vs. Dynamic SQL debate is indeed an age-old one, and definitely one that brings out a lot of passion in people.

    One of the really nice things about LINQ, I think, is that it supports both dynamic SQL and Sprocs. If you are using SPROCs today, I think you'll find it a super flexible way to call and integrate them with your application. I'll try and do a few blog posts over the next few weeks that shows off samples of this in action more.



  • Hi Scott. The multi-targeting features are very cool, and should make the uptake on Orcas much quicker. One question, though - will the VS project formats change? Will I, for example, be able to work on the same project with Orcas that another developer edits with VS2005?


  • Wow!!! Great Preview & Great Update..

    I was really in need of this update cos I mostly work with dreamweaver cos of its good design time support, split screen, better CSS management but I guess after this update I'll b back on VS so Scott when do I expect this release :)

  • That's good to know. I'll definitely check out the sproc integration with Linq.

    You're right about how passionate people get about the dynamic SQL discussion; outside of outright zealotry, I think a lot of that stems simply from differing business objectives. At my company it's a debate that resurfaces on a predictable cycle with a lot of "swing voters".

  • Geez, it's Friday and I'm drooling after this post of your Scott - wow!

    Question - perhaps you can or can't answer it, but I'll try: Will Orcas include the ADO.NET vNext Entity Framework?

  • It would really be nice if you could also ship an SDK-only release of the Framework as with the LINQ May CTP.

    The download and install was so small, quick and clean on the May CTP ... it was really quite nice.

  • javascript intellisense is a dream come true!!! I can't wait!

  • Great features. I have been hoping for the exactly the ASP.NET improvements you mentioned.

    How does the new ASP.NET designer deal with the differences in stylesheet and basic display behaviors between browsers (e.g. Firefox 1.x, 2.x, IE 6.x, 7.x, etc)? Does it assume the IE 7 behavior? How does it handle css hacks/workarounds (such as w\idth and others I have seen--not that use of these should be encouraged).

  • I am really not sure about this LINQ stuff. I am sure that it is very flexible, but one has to be careful not to add too many language features. Otherwise C# will turn into another C++.

    Besides, the LINQ syntax looks really out of place in C#. Maybe it would be better to rely exclusively on closures to implement this even if the syntax would be a bit more verbose.

  • Scott,
    I would love to be able to toggle masterpages on and off in design view by the click of an icon. A lot of times they become a pain when working on individual pages because they take up so much of the screen, and for the most part you aren't going to be changing them. I'd like to be able to see the master page some times in design view, but most of the time when in design view I'd rather just see the placeholder page. A toggle button would let everyone see what they want.


  • All this stuff is awesome! But let me pop a question in here. Have you guys looked at a features/capability for multi-monitor environments? I haven't heard any mention. :)

  • Looks really good!

    Is it possible to build a web page that uses LINQ and deploy on a server with .NET 2.0?

  • Looks really nice, but what's the memory use going to be like? When editing large ASP.NET pages VS 2005's memory use gets out of control very quickly - the other day mine got up to 750MB before I once again decided to restart it.

  • Hey Scott,

    Is the .NET Framework 3.5 going to be delivered to Windows Vista users automatically through Windows Update, or will they need to update manually or through some application?

    By including the 3.0 Framework in Vista it is made readily available to many people. I know there are many who do not wish to install for example the 2.0 Framework, they simply ignore/don't download or use applications that require it, because they do not want to have anything to do with .NET. Vista solves this problem, because everyone has the Framework readily available. But if it is not updated automatically, we will end up in the same situation.

  • Scott,

    Nice to see you at WebDD.

    When will the video of your presentation go online?

    Your developer tools keep getting better!


  • So, when ytou added some libraries to .net you called it 3.0, and it cannot be called 2.x 'cos it will confuse the end users.

    Now, when you add not only 3 libs but really change the system, the c# version etc., you just create 3.5?

    a 3.X release?

  • Dan, you can run the 'current' CTP of Orcas in the Microsoft Labs (free), and in it you can switch/target behaviors.

  • Hi Dom,

    I believe the WebDD video will be online shortly. I'll update this post to link to it as soon as it is ready.



  • Hi A,

    The reason we gave .NET 3.0 a full version number upgrade was because of the size and scope of the new library releases - specifically with WPF, WCF and WF. These libraries were very, very big and provided massive amount of new functionality.

    .NET 3.5 also contains great functionality, but in terms of scope does not have as many new libraries (other than LINQ) compared with .NET 3.0. That is one reason why we gave it a .5 name.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hi Lendard,

    We'll deliver .NET 3.5 through Windows Update for Vista users (as well as XP users).

    One benefit of the new multi-targetting features within VS is that you can also choose which version of the framework you want to target - so for example you could restrict yourself to .NET 3.0 for maximum reach to begin with, then update to target 3.5 later.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hi Lionel,

    You shouldn't ever see a page take 750MB of RAM to edit. Can you send me an email the next that happens, along with a description of your project layout and the page you were editing? I can then have someone take a look at it.



  • Hi Mikael,

    You can't use LINQ on a ASP.NET 2.0 site, although you can actually use a lot of the new C# and VB language features (lambdas, anonymous types, var keywords, etc) on vanilla .NET 2.0 applications (since these generate IL compatible with the CLR that ships in .NET 2.0).



  • Hi Tad,

    We actually had basic JavaScript keyword intellisense in the past with VS - although we didn't have type inference based on the code usage.

    This turns out to be a fairly hard problem to get right, and actually VS Orcas will probably ship the most comprehensive JavaScript intellisense tool out there when we ship later this year. It has taken awhile, but hopefully will be very worth it. :-)



  • Hi Ken,

    The multi-monitor suggestion is a good one, and I know people are looking at it. I'm not sure whether all of the support we have planned is coming in Orcas, though, or the following release (it is a fair amount of architectural work to split things up that way).



  • Hi Kevin,

    That is a good suggestion (toggling masters on/off). I'll forward it along to see if it is possible.



  • Hi Rüdiger,

    I'll be doing some more posts on LINQ, and the new language syntax support within VB and C# for other features as well more in the future.

    I think you'll find that it integrates really, really well within the language. I am continually pleasantly surprised with how well the language has evolved, and how elegantly it allows you to express things.



  • Hi Dan,

    That is a good question about the stylesheet behavior, and to be honest I'm not 100% sure. I belive it defaults to the standard XHTML behavior as defined by the W3C.

    The previous WYSIWYG designer in VS 2005 was based on the IE code-base, and so defaulted to IE semantics. But this new designer uses a brand new code-base that I believe is 100% standards targetted.



  • Hi kevindente,

    The project format won't change - which means if you target .NET 2.0 using multi-targetting you should be able to opent he project with VS 2005 as well.



  • Hi Rick,

    For multi-targetting you can choose to target .NET 2.0 (or 3.0), and then later change it to .NET 3.5

    I believe the team is also looking at ways we can better handle master pages that are distributed across multiple projects (I'm not 100% sure of this - but have heard discussions about it).

    The JavaScript comment issue is an interesting one (and kind of a hard one). Because JavaScript doesn't natively have the concept of a class/type, and is a very flexible language (meaning you can define functions anywhere - even within other functions), we had to make sure the comment syntax could work in all scenarios (hence the one we came up with).

    Can you send me an email with more details about the MOSS designer issues you are running into? I can then loop you in with someone from that team to help investigate.



  • Looks really good. I have a question about the built in webserver. Will it support virtual directories and will it be able to 'recognize' other website projects in a solution? This way you can support 'complicated' setups which otherwise would only be possible with IIS. An example is sharing masterpages from one website through a virtual directory.

    Also, I have heard in a movie on MSDN about webcontrol becoming 'behavior driven'. I don't know what that means. Is ASP.NET gonna have big changes like that, or is it mainly a few new controls?


  • WOW !
    this is great!

    the only problem is the number of releases. 2.0 3.0 3.5 ... it's starting to create confusion !


  • As a Student and a Microsoft Student Partner, the Visual Studio Express Editions has both helped me personally a lot and also allowed a lot of my friends at school start programming...

    So, would Orcas have Express releases? I bloody hope that it does...

  • Hi Scott,

    very cool demo. I really enjoyed it.

    I may come with some questions later on but for now I have none.



  • What about Express versions?
    Is there will be a something like Orcas Express February CTP?

  • Looks just great! I can't wait to put my hands on Orcas, will download the February CTP right now.

  • All the focus on HTML, AJAX, JavaScript, Live and even WPF/e saddens my heart - seems also to be the focus for Mix07. Is this what SteveB meant when he said that *opportunities* lie on the edges i.e. WPF is really a MS internal technology for Office, or from another perspective - the UI hybrid model lives on when it should have been laid to rest with .NET 1.0. I had hoped 'we developers' (non MS + MS developers) could build a better (non HTML) internet with a rich model that was secure and responsive with deep UI, but all hopes have faded. Every day we battle (and lose out to) Adobe and Flash. Why even did the WPF/e team focus first on JavaScript rather than C# enabling a great technology? I don't understand save it is a misconstrued notion that WPF is best kept 'inside'. Apologies for sounding totally defeatist but I think Adobe are about to punish us all.

  • The ability to view the CSS usage and refactor is absolutely awesome.

    Now I can dump my CSS editor.

  • Scott,

    Please tell me the integrated help has been fixed... In my not so humble opinion the interface took a major dive with VS2005. The language filter option is lame. Why do I need to select/de-select each item separately? Why are my settings not persistent? Actually, sometimes they are sometimes not.

    I do think the option to search multiple sources is cool but the interface just seems clumsy -- not to mention the fact that almost everything requires me to touch the !#$#&** mouse!


  • Cool features. Will it be as flakey as 2005??

    The response of the code editor in large projects is terrible + the background compiler crashes. I have tried *every* known fix to date.

  • How come I seem to be missing all the new features like split view and LINQ

  • Hi Scott,

    great thing..

    How about adding functionality to check the page in different browsers while in split or design mode??

  • Hi Kim,

    Can you send me an email about the issues you are having with VB (my email address is: I can then follow up with the VB team to have someone help you figure out what is going on.



  • Hi Rod,

    As I mentioned in the article, the features I mentioned are all ASP.NET ones. "Orcas" contains some major advances for WPF development, and will also provide the base for our WPF/E support. Both of these create significant opportunities to develop even richer client applications.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hi Yuvi and Andrzej,

    Yes - the "Orcas" release will definitely continue to have free editions of the "Express" products.

    In fact, all of the features I described in my article above are fully supported in the free express edition of Visual Web Developer "Orcas" Express.



  • Looks awesome Scott. The full release is going to be very cool!

    Keep up the good work you and your team :-)

  • What features are planned for developers still developing C++/Win32/Native apps? C++ seemed to take a back seat in VS2005 (Class Designer didn't support C++, code snippets didn't support C++) and from you presentation that seems to continue.

  • Hi Murray,

    I believe there are several enhancements for C++ in the "Orcas" release. If you want to send me email, I'd be happy to put you in touch with someone on the C++ team to learn more.

    Note that above I just talked about the ASP.NET server-side enhancements, and wasn't trying to make a broad statement about all of the work going on in "Orcas" (which was why I didn't mention any client or device or C++ work).



  • Hi Colin,

    We have a specific RTM month that we are shooting for in the second half of this year, but it is still early enough in the process that we're not comfortable announcing it just yet (since the real date will end up being more finalized after we finish the first and second beta).

    I'll let you know more once we have a better sense of the final date and continue to make progress.



  • Hi Scott,

    Thanks for posting this information, it's very helpful. Great blog, keep it coming!

    - Eddy

  • Hey Scott

    Orcas looks good and interesting. :)

    Any plans to backport it (i.e allow development aganist) to .Net framework 1.1 .



  • This sounds like a very cheap type of "Multi-Targeting", which we already can do by reference management. Orcas only targets one CLR as far as I can see, which means we are still stuck with multiple version of VS to target CLR v1.0, v1.1 and v2.0. Any hope for multi-targeting with CLR "v3.0" when/if it arrives?

  • Hi Stale,

    We are planning to support multi-targetting with future versions of the CLR as well.



  • Hi Manuel,

    I believe the team is talking about how we could possibly add DebuggerVisualizer support for JavaScript objects in the "Orcas" timeframe. I'm not sure yet whether it will make the list - but I agree it would be very cool to have!



  • How will the new features in Orcas affect website compilation time? It already takes much longer than it should. Have you done anything to address the problem in this release?

  • Hi Michael,

    Have you looked at my article on web site compilation performance here:

    This contains a number of suggestions for significantly improving performance with VS 2005 Web Site Projects. You can also switch to a VS 2005 Web Application project which is lightening fast.



  • Hi Erwin,

    Can you send me mail with more details about the issue you are having with websetup projects in VS 2005?



  • Hi Scott
    I want ask you about report
    Is there any plan in Microsoft to make good software that do all needs to make good reports?
    In my work we us crystal repot but it have many problem

  • The feature I am most looking forward to is multi-targeting. However, I have a few concerns.

    You indicate that it only supports versions 2.0, 3.0, and 3.5. While I would really like to use 2.0+, some customers insist on 1.1 (and occasionally 1.0). That makes it difficult to work in a single environment.

    Also, there will surely be for future releases after 3.5 (4.0?). While I am sure a new version of VS will then be released, it would still be nice to compile against future, currently unknown libraries. For example, I did not immediately get VS 2005 when when 2.0 was initially released. It would have been nice to be able to compile against 2.0 from VS 2003.

    The integration with intellisense, controls, templates etc are appealing. However, I am most concerned with just compiling against a desired version.

    VS is, after all, an editor when you get down to it. The updated compilers come with the SDKs. Let me point to them and use them.

    The current solution will probably fulfill the needs of many. However, I am worried that it is not sufficient enough of a solution.

    I would appreciate it if you would pass on my feedback.


  • Hi Scott,

    Will you support Multi-Targeting for .NET 1.1 as well?


  • Hi Scott,

    Re the massive memory use - I was trying to put a page together to give you as an example and discovered in the process that ReSharper seems to be the culprit rather than VS.



  • Very nice post. Salvating right now. If MS does not cut any features, it will be a nice release. Also, I am surprised that MS is moving so fast on LinQ. Keep up the good work.

  • Scott, would it not be better to stick to a framework for some time and increase the library base as an extensions like its been happening with the Enterprise Libraries ?
    Because with the .Net 3.0 framework being hardly used by the development community at large, thinking of a framework 3.5 is kind of bothering me. Not to mention the chaos that comes along with it.

  • Saud, have you checked out SQL Server Reporting Services?

  • Hi Lars,

    Unfortunately "Orcas" will only support multi-targetting of 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5. 1.1 isn't supported.



  • Hi Jafar,

    JavaScript intellisense should be available in VS Orcas as soon as you start typing.

    Hope this helps,


  • Ping back from

    [... Work has been really hard on me the last couple of weeks, but I just found some time today to read down my rss feeds and found out that Visual Studio Orcas has been refreshed with a March CTP just as I wrote this... ]

  • Is VS "orcas" only for Windows Vista and XP?

  • Hi Vue,

    You can install VS "Orcas" on Vista, XP and Windows Server 2003.



  • This looks unbelievably cool. The dream is becoming reality!!!

  • COOL Features,waiting for the Release.

  • Scott,

    Thanks for your previous reply about the stylesheet support.

    One other question: Will Orcas take advantage of multicore processors to speed up things like compilation and refactoring?

    I am about to put together a new computer and since VS is my primary tool, I am trying to choose between a 2.4 GHZ Quad core or faster 2.66 GHZ Dual core. The quad seems faster for most tasks, but I am not sure about VS.

  • Hi Dan,

    VS Orcas does use multi-core capabilitites more than previous releases (this should show up especially with command-line builds).

    Having said that, for a new machine I'd optimize getting a faster disk (maybe 10,000 RPMs) and at least 2GB of memory before adding more cores. VS is very I/O heavy, and so additions in these spaces tend to have a much higher return on investment then increasing CPU speeds or adding more than 2 cores to the system.

    I'd also recommend reading this blog post if you haven't already:

    It includes a number of optimization suggestions that should speed up builds.

    Hope this helps,


  • When .Net 2002 came out followed by .Net 2003 the following year, all the .net 2002 users got .Net 2003 for free. Will this be the case with Orcas for VS 2005 users? Or, will we have to spend $900 again?

  • When .Net 2003 was released, anyone who bought .Net 2002 recieved a free copy.

    Will the same thing apply for VS "Orcas", in regards to VS 2005 users?

    I really don't want to shell out another $900 for it.


  • Hi Steve,

    I'm not sure of the exact details, but I know that there will be an upgrade price/offer for existing VS 2005 users.

    Note: In general if you have any existing Microsoft product, you should never have to pay full price when the next release comes out.



  • Looks great! I cannot wait until I can get my hand on a copy and begin to play around with it.

  • Hi Scott - Thanks for the great post!

    2 questions:

    1. You didn't mention BLINQ? Will there be a visual wizard for BLINQ included with Orcas?

    2. Are you attending the MVP Summit next week?


  • First of all these features look great.

    One thing that currently happens with js intelisence (out of the box) that is really annoying :) is that inline (in an html or aspx file ) js intelisence will give basic functionality, but actually working in an external .js file will not give any form of intelisence at all.

    will this still be the case in the improved js intellisence ?

  • Scott,

    Thanks for the info and many answers. I'm looking forward to the Express version, as I'm sure many in my company are (actually I think most full time developers use the full client, not the Express version).

  • Hi Jason,

    That is a very good question - I just forwarded it to the team to ask.



  • Will nulls still be a nailed on afterthought kludge?
    Or will I be able to read data and put it into internal variables without having to write my own nullabledatareader class?

  • How about empty gridviews?
    Will they continue to not show the header and footer?

  • Have you seen problems with animated Gifs?

    In vs2005 ( before the service pack).
    I stuck a small animated gif on a page.
    In design view cpu usage went through the roof.
    As the machine became unstable I was kind of put off the idea so have never tried it again.
    Maybe sp1 fixed that.

    Not a big deal though really, especially compared to the null thing or no insert in gridview.

  • Hi Scott,

    I really like the css support in orcas and expression web, it's a great improvement over 2005.

    However neither seem to support Themes. For example, any styles defined in a theme that is applied to a page or via web.config do not show in the designer or the new css windows (manage styles etc).

    Is this something that will be supported in the final release of Orcas or at some point in the future?

    Themes seem a little like a second class citizen at the moment (no intellisense in skins either for example), and it would be good to know if this is a feature worth investing in, or whether pure css is a more "supported" route (which I am sure it can't be, but it would be nice to have a roadmap of sorts...)

    Kind regards,


  • Hi Ian,

    Actually you can get this working today with VS 2005 (although finding out how is not always easy ).

    What you need to-do is to set the styleSheetTheme value instead of the Theme value. You will then have all settings show up in WYSIWYG mode.



  • Hi Josh,

    The format JavaScript option is something we have on the to-do plate. It isn't clear yet whether it will be in for the final Orcas RTM, or whether we'll add it in the future (possibly as a SP change).



  • Hi Andy,

    I haven't heard of an animated GIF causing these problems (I've used animated GIFs before without this problem).

    If you have a repro that causing the crashing, can you send me an email with a sample?



Comments have been disabled for this content.